So you’ve started 2015. You have a list of resolutions. This is the year it’s going to change. You’re on a mission. You’re going to lose those 8lbs you’ve always wanted to shed. You’re going to tone up, get fit and do loads of exercise. And you’re off the booze, dry January here you come. Yes! 2015 is the year it’s all going to change and you’re going to become the person you’ve always wanted to be.
You’ve bought the latest diet / health book and you’re buying salads and sushi for lunch. And you’re there with the rest of the January gym bunnies as you wait your turn for the treadmill. You’re making some nice healthy meals at home rather than drinking in the evening (and it’s actually great because the weather is awful and cozying up on the sofa watching Game of Thrones is really appealing).
Throughout January you’re feeling fantastic, you’re losing some weight, you’ve got a bit of a glow and you’re feeling less lethargic. This carries on for the first couple of weeks in February too. But at some point, as always, life just gets in the way. Work is a bit manic so your 3 day per week gym routine goes down to 1 and then a bit more sporadic as you start to try and squeeze it in amongst your other obligations. And you’ve been avoiding carbs so when it’s your friend’s birthday meal, you literally devour the bread basket. Then after a really stressful day, you’re just craving cake (which you’ve been avoiding for weeks) so you pass by the shops on the way home and eat half a Sara Lee while you’re watching House of Cards on Netflix.
By May, you’re at your normal weight but that summer holiday you’ve booked seems scarily close so you refocus and start again to get that beach ready. The gym is back on the agenda and salad is your friend. And on it goes, that ongoing, never-ending cycle. Starting the year with these lofty ambitions, going for it, and then falling back into our usual habits and patterns. Does that sound familiar? We’ve all been there. So what can we do?
The reality is, change takes times and it’s not something that will happen overnight. Some of us also have a tendency to be a bit all or nothing, we’re ‘being healthy’ or we’re not. The ideal would be a happy medium where we have a consistently healthy approach that fits in with our lifestyles. But how do we get there?
The key is gradual change, building in healthy habits one step at a time. It takes 6 months to establish patterns of behaviour so it’s about reframing those resolutions and seeing 2015 as a year of development, the year you’re going to discover what works for you and create the unique approach to diet and lifestyle that suits you. And everyone’s different, so while one diet might be telling you avoid dairy, another is advising that it’s great for you and all the conflicting messages can become confusing. It’s about working out what works best for you and your body – only you know how you feel.
And I just want to say right here, nobody’s perfect. You will have times when you do just want to eat ice cream or tortilla chips. But it’s about having a solidly healthy approach to your way of eating which means the majority of time you are eating food that nourishes you so the odd moment off piste isn’t the end of the world. And having healthy alternatives is a brilliant way to manage those cravings too.
However, for many people, this is a new way of thinking about the way they eat that can seem quite scary. How do you start to work things out? What can you eat? What do you need to do? And this is where MISSION can come in with health coaching support which can help you to make these life long changes. There are some open slots for free 50-minute health consultations where we can discuss your health and lifestyle goals in person or via Skype. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to book in for a consultation and see if health coach support is for you. And follow MISSION on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for some tips along the way.
Here’s to a happy, healthy 2015! Your MISSION starts here.